We are pleased to announce the winners of the CISE awards for 2012 BU Science and Engineering Day:
Congratulations on 1st Prize CISE Award to Yushan Chen for her poster “LTL Robot Motion Control based on Automata Learning of Environmental Dynamics” $500 to Yushan and $500 to her advisor, Professor Calin Belta. Yushan and Calin will also be invited to a luncheon with the Provost and the other BU Science Day award winners.
Additional congratulations to the following students receiving CISE Honorable Mentions ($100):
- Alphan Ulusoy: Optimality and Robustness in Multi-Robot Path Planning with Temporal Logic Constraints, advised by Professor Belta
- Enes Bilgin: Provision of Regulation Service Reserves by Flexible Distributed Loads: Optimal Participation in Balancing and Real Time Power Markets, advised by Professor Caramanis
- Hanieh Mirzaei: A New Approach to Rigid-body Minimization with Application to Molecular Docking, advised by Professors Paschalidis and Vakili
Thank you to all the students and judges (see below) who are participated in the event. We look forward to seeing you at the CISE Pizza Party and Awards Ceremony, April 13 at 4:00 pm immediately following the CISE Seminar, in the lobby of 15 St Mary’s Street.
We would also like to thank Denise Joseph, CISE Administrator, for organizing all the details for CISE participation at the event.
Students participating in 2012 Science Day:
- Ian Johnston
- Hanieh Mirzaei
- Mohammad Moghadasi
- Lijun Peng
- Ke Chen
- Limor Eger
- Tao Wang
- Xuchao Lin
- Hunter Glanz
- Joseph Wang
- Alphan Ulusoy
- Jing Wang
- Zachary Sun
- Ana Ivonne Medina Ayala
- Morteza Lahijanian
- Trevor Ashley
- Enes Bilgin
- Igor Cizelj
- Paul Gallagher
- Peng Huang
- Ronald Locke
- Ebru Aydin Gol
- Christine Bassem
- Yushan Chen
- Andrej Cvetkovski
- Yanfeng Geng
- Can Hankendi
- Fuzhuo Huang
- Vatche Ishakian
- Jiaxi Jin
- Emir Kavurmacioglu
- Yingwei Lin
- Jie Meng
- Delaram Motamedvaziri
- Cankut Orakcal
- Michael Rahaim
- Rohan Roy
- Raymond Sweha
- Aylin Turhan
- Tiansheng Zhang
- Jiefu Zheng
- Yaonan Zhang
- Murat Alanyali, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
- Sean Andersson, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
- Calin Belta, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
- Ayse Coskun, Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
- Henry Lam, Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences
- Mac Schwager, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering
- David Starobinski, Associate Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering
By Mark Dwortzan
Cheap, adaptable to extreme environments—and endowed with a natural ability to probe, analyze and modify their surroundings—microbiological organisms represent a promising line of attack for everything from oil spill cleanup to chemical weapons detection. But harnessing this capability will require some complex technological enhancements. Major challenges include getting the microbes to sense, process and respond to specific stimuli; equipping them to communicate their findings; and coordinating them to take collective action in real-time.
Now a research team led by Professor James Collins (BME, MSE, SE) proposes to surmount these challenges through an unprecedented combination of expertise in synthetic biology, computer engineering, control systems and robotics.
The Office of Naval Research has awarded the team—which includes Assistant Professors Calin Belta (ME, SE) and Douglas Densmore (ECE) and leading researchers from Harvard University, MIT, Northeastern University and the University of Pennsylvania—with a highly competitive Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative grant of $7.5 million to pursue its project, “Utilizing Synthetic Biology to Create Programmable Micro-Bio-Robots,” over the next five years. The team’s goal is to develop technologies that enable swarms of microbiological organisms to execute desired tasks in a cohesive, efficient manner.
Toward that end, the researchers plan to genetically alter microbes to detect, analyze and respond to explosives, toxins, metals, salinity, pH, temperature, light and other environmental signals; assemble groups of these programmed microbes and support hardware into 10-100-micrometer-long hybrid “micro-bio-robots” (MBRs); and design 10-100-centimeter-long, powered “chaperone robots” that direct and monitor thousands of MBRs at close proximity and apprise human operators of their progress via wireless communication.
“The idea is to engineer living organisms—in this case bacteria—that respond to external stimuli in the environment,” Densmore explained. “In response, they will generate a fluorescent or chemical signal that can be measured by the chaperone robots, which can produce signals as well that the bacteria can detect, so you have a two-way communication system. Finally, the chaperone robots can also communicate with human users.”
Using techniques from synthetic biology, the researchers intend to modify bacterial DNA so that the cells can both sense and report on specific stimuli. For instance, the researchers may alter DNA within bacterial cells to produce a fluorescent protein that glows green in the presence of high pH, a signal that nearby chaperone robots can interpret and relay to human operators.
The College of Engineering contribution to this effort is substantial. Collins will work on DNA modification; Densmore will optimize selection of DNA sequences used to enable microbial cells to sense and indicate the presence of specific environmental signals; and Belta will participate in the design and assembly of MBRs and chaperone robots, and efforts to coordinate their activity.
“People have made robots that can respond to external stimuli, and synthetic biologists have made bacteria that can sense environmental conditions, but putting it all together in a highly coordinated and deterministic system is completely new,” said Densmore.
As the College of Engineering continues to emerge as one of the nation’s leaders in academic research, Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen has announced the creation of the Dean of Engineering Research Advisory Council (DERAC). Serving as a faculty resource, the new council will initiate new interdisciplinary research projects and help identify larger, College-wide grants and programs.
“This group of esteemed faculty researcher will be instrumental in helping the College capitalize on its signature spirit of collegiality and collaboration,” said Lutchen. “The council will help us identify and pursue the kinds of cross-cutting research initiatives that will make an impact on society.”
The creation of the Division of Systems Engineering, and the Division of Materials Science and Engineering during the last academic year further facilitated interdisciplinary research. With College expertise that includes bioengineering, micro- and nano-technology, sensors and acoustics, photonics, imaging, and computational modeling, DERAC will identify and catalyze funding proposals for faculty and encourage them to pursue interdisciplinary research initiatives in larger areas.
“A distinguished group of faculty has accepted invitations to serve on this committee,” said Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs Selim Ünlü (ECE) said. “It reflects the College’s dedication to high-impact interdisciplinary research.”
The 17-member DERAC was formed on the recommendation of the Executive Committee of the College. The council is co-chaired by Lutchen and Ünlü. Council members include Professor Sandor Bajda (BME); Professor Soumendra Basu (ME); Professor Thomas Bifano (ME); Professor Irvin Bigio (BME); Professor David Castañón (ECE); Professor Clem Karl (ECE); Associate Professor Robin Cleveland (ME); Associate Professor Amit Meller (BME); Associate Professor Yannis Paschalidis (ECE); Associate Professor Ari Trachtenberg (ECE); Associate Professor Xin Zhang (ME); Assistant Professor Hatice Altug (ECE); Assistant Professor Luca Dal Negro (ECE); Assistant Professor Elise Morgan (ME); and Assistant Professor Kamal Sen (BME).
The council will meet once per semester. DERAC members will also lead large-scale grant initiatives and serve as ENG ambassadors by presenting the College’s research portfolio at conferences, symposiums and peer institutions.
“DERAC will be instrumental in identifying strategic areas for major research initiatives,” Ünlü said. “It will help identify and achieve strategic goals throughout the College.”
CISE faculty M. Alanyali and V. Saligrama published in “Advances in Pervasive Computing and Networking
About this book
About this book
Pervasive Computing and Networking aim at providing ubiquitous, ever-present, adaptable, smart, enveloping and immersive environments in which computing components and humans can interact regardless of the location. The combination of an abundance of computational power of the processors and the communication bandwidth provided by the wireless and mobile networking everywhere and all the time makes such environments within the reach of current technology. Yet, to realize the full potential of such environments, many technical and economical challenges needs to be overcome. These challenges and the perspective on the seminal directions of the research in this area were the subject of the Workshop for Pervasive Computing and Networking at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY, USA. This book presents chapters based on presentations made at the workshop by leaders in the field. The scope of Advances in Pervasive Computing and Networking ranges from fundamental theory of pervasive computing and networking to crucial challenges and emerging applications.
Such seminal topics as a scalable, self-organizing technology for sensor networks, the fundamental relationship between the achievable capacity and delay in mobile wireless networks, the role of self-optimization in sensor networks or similarities and differences between computer networks and their biological counterparts are the subject of the first group of chapters.
The next group of chapters covers communication issues, such as cooperative communication in mobile, wireless and sensor networks, methods for maximizing aggregate throughput in 802.11 mesh networks with a physical carrier, and self-configuring location discovery systems for smart environments. The book closes with chapters focusing on sensor network emerging applications such as smart and safe buildings, a design for a distributed transmitter for reachback based on radar signals sensing and two-radio multi-channel clustering.
Those working in the areas of Pervasive Computing and Network Computing